Category: world war ii

What Happened to Pearl Harbor’s Dead?

What Happened to Pearl Harbor’s Dead?

from Ask a Mortician

The USS Ward and the First Shots of Pearl Harb…

The USS Ward and the First Shots of Pearl Harbor

from The History Guy: History Deserves to be Remembered

Vintage “Remember Pearl Harbor” brooch, circa …

Vintage “Remember Pearl Harbor” brooch, circa 1940s, commemorating the attack at Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941.

Average Wehraboo interpretation of the Wehrmac…

Average Wehraboo interpretation of the Wehrmact vs. How it actually was.

from Robert H Goddard: The Father of Rocketry

Rescue Flotilla 1, The US Coast Guard at D-Day

Rescue Flotilla 1, The US Coast Guard at D-Day

from The History Guy, History Deserves to be Remembered

I am Spartacus!

I am Spartacus!

On December 19th, 1944 Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds was captured by German forces during the Battle of the Bulge, the last major Axis offensive of the war. Edmond was sent to Stalag IX-A, a prisoner of war camp housing 1,275 American servicemen. As the highest ranking non-commissioned officer in the camp, Edmonds was responsible for these men. On January 27th, 1945 the camp commandant ordered Edmonds to have all the camps Jewish soldiers present themselves separate from the rest of the men. At the time the average grunt only had a vague idea of the Holocaust. There were rumors, stories, and some official reports, but few common soldiers really had any idea as to the extent of the Nazi’s persecution of Jews. However, Edmonds understood enough to know that the commandant’s order would only lead to bad things for the 200 American Jews who occupied the camp.

Edmonds ordered all 1,275 POWs to assemble in the main courtyard. Quite dismayed the commandant demanded all Jews to step forward. All 1,275 men stepped forward. In anger, the commandant pulled a pistol on Edmonds and demanded he call out all of the Jewish soldiers present. Edmonds responded, “We are all Jews here, if you have to shoot Jews, you will have to shoot us all.” Edmonds then reminded the commandant that as POWs they were protected under the Geneva Convention, and all they had to give him was their name, rank, and serial number. Any abuses to his men would be considered war crimes, and he would likely be wanted as a war criminal when the war is over. The commandant begrudgingly backed down.

After the war Edmonds continued his career in the US Army, serving in Korea as well. He rarely ever spoke about his experiences during the war, and they only came to light after his death in 1985 when his family found his war time diary. He was awarded the title “Righteous Among Nations” by Yad Vashem in 2015 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2017.

Master Sergeant Roddie Edmonds

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Abdol Hossein Sardari — The Iranian Schi…

Abdol Hossein Sardari — The Iranian Schindler

At the outset of World War II Abdol Hussein Sardari was a minor bureaucrat working in the Iranian Consular Office in Paris. After the Germans invaded and occupied France in 1940 the ambassador of the office was recalled with most of his staff and relocated to Vichy France, leaving a small skeleton crew to manage diplomatic affairs in occupied Paris. Full diplomatic power was given to Sardari, regardless of the fact that he was inexperienced for the post.

in 1942 Nazi SS and Gestapo troops began the process of rounding up and deporting Jews in France to concentration camps in Germany and Eastern Europe. At the time many Iranian citizens were living in France, as the country was a popular destination for vacation and higher learning for many Iranians, among whom were many Iranian Jews. Originally, Iranian passports listed the person’s religion. One of Sardari’s first acts was to reissue new passports that did not list religion. From then on he worked tirelessly to protect Iranian Jews from persecution. When Nazi officials began harassing and persecuting suspected Iranian Jews, Sardari came up with a clever piece of bullshittery that beat the Nazi at their own race theory game. Under Nazi race theory, Iranians were considered Aryans and thus not subject to the Nuremberg Laws. Sardari explained that persecuted Iranian Jews were not really Jews, but an ancient Iranian sect called the “Djuguten” who were followers of the Prophet Moses. They were really Iranian Aryans who could be easily confused for Jews. The Nazi’s sought clarification from official race theorists and scholars, but a ruling on the validity of Sardari’s claims was never made and thus Nazi officials let it slide.

Eventually Iranian Jews began asking Sardari if he could help Jewish friends and colleagues who were not Iranian. Sardari began issuing Iranian passports to non-Iranian Jews in order to evacuate them from the country. Doing so was an act that went far beyond his diplomatic authority, however the Iranian government approved all of the passports issued by Sardari without question.  Sardari issued around 1,000 such passports. Each passport could cover an entire family, thus the lives Sardari saved could number in the thousands.

After World War II, Sardari faced hard luck and misfortune. During the Iranian Revolution his property was seized, his pension was suspended, and he was forced to flee the country. He died penniless and in exile in Nottingham, England in 1981.

British SAS jeep in North Africa, World War II…

British SAS jeep in North Africa, World War II.

Silk military handkerchief from Japan, circa 1…

Silk military handkerchief from Japan, circa 1940s.

The Night Witches and World War II

The Night Witches and World War II

from The History Guy